There are many litter boxes and pans on the market today. I’ve put together a list of many of them currently available in the United States. If you use one you love and it’s not on the list, tell me about it at “Contact Skye”… I’ll sniff it out!
Follow the Trails Below…
- DIY – Make Your Own Litter Box
- Open Litter Boxes
- Covered Litter Boxes
- Corner Litter Box (Open or Covered)
- Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes
- Travel Litter Boxes
- Furniture Litter Box Enclosures
- Privacy Screens
- Related Litter Products
- Miscellaneous Items
- RELATED PAGES OF INTEREST
DIY – Make Your Own Litter Box
Any plastic (or metal) storage container, from under-bed boxes to tall ones can be made into a litter box. They’re usually less expensive than regular ones and can often be found at yard sales or thrift stores for next to nothing.
Taller containers can have a hole cut in them for an entrance if needed. They can also be used upside down for outdoor shelters for feral or stray cats.
There are videos available on YouTube for making all kinds of litter boxes. Just search “DIY litter box”. Here are a few to start…
“Making a DIY Temporary Litterbox From Cardboard”, The Honest Kitchen, August 26, 2019 (a great one for small kittens)
“DIY The Best Litter Box”, Ingrid Johnson, CCBC Certified Cat Behavior Consultant, YouTube
Open Litter Boxes
Most open boxes come in plastic and stainless steel varieties. Some are now made with higher end materials such as fiberglass.
Plastic is cheapest but must be replaced over time since odor will absorb into it. There are also various grades of plastics used so some are better quality, more sturdy, and less absorbent than others.
Stylish boxes are available so you don’t have to sacrifice decorative value with ugly boxes.
Traditional Open Boxes
Most open boxes are rectangles made from plastic or stainless steel. Open boxes have sides that range in height from about 5″ to over 10″, some with a low 2-3″ entrance for kittens or arthritic cats.
There are so many options available… check these sites to review and compare prices…Amazon, Chewy, Petco, PetSmart, Walmart, Wayfair, and Target. (These links are for your convenience… I make no money from them.)
Some more boxes are…
Sterilite 16558010 28-Quart Clear Storage Box See-through with White Lid – Pack of 10 boxes
Tidy Cat Breeze Litter System – comes in open and closed boxes; you will need to keep buying pee pads and their special pellet litter
(USEFUL FOR KITTENS, SENIOR, DECLAWED, OR ARTHRITIC CATS)
There are various medical conditions that can affect a cat’s ability to easily and painlessly get into or out of a litter box. Low-sided open boxes are helpful for senior, declawed or arthritic cats.
These boxes are also good for kittens, since they can sometimes have difficulty with regular boxes due to their small size.
In addition to what’s listed above for regular open boxes, here are some specific ones made for cats who need lower sides for easy entrance and exit.
Ramps are useful to help your kitty get into a regular or high-sided box (if he’ll use it, of course).
The three ramps listed below are the only ones I could find currently on the market.
Kitty Box Ramp – cardboard ramps designed with replaceable treads
High-sided open boxes help contain litter mess and are good for a stand-to-pee cat.
Other possibilities are…
Covered Litter Boxes
Covered boxes are used to contain litter mess, control odor, and keep pee in the box.
Yes, odor is contained within the box, but it’s now concentrated and your kitty has to smell it. Many cats refuse to use them unless kept very clean.
Another drawback is that covers cut off escape routes. Cats need to feel secure while doing their business, which is important in homes with more than one cat, dogs, or young children.
To deal with this situation, boxes are now being made with the top removed but sides intact, as well as the sides being translucent or clear (see “High-Sided Open”).
There are so many options available… check these sites to review and compare prices… Amazon, Chewy, Petco, PetSmart, Walmart, Wayfair, and Target. (These links are for your convenience… I make no money from them.)
Traditional Front Entry Covered
Traditional covered boxes are rectangular with a plastic cover. The cat enters and exits through a front opening.
Some examples of front-entry covered boxes are…
Good Pet Stuff Plant Hidden Litter Box – looks like a potted plant
Kitangle Seamless Covered Litter Boxes – comes in front and top entry, angled and flat top
Modkat – various stylish covered, front and top entry
Pet Gear Pro Pawty for Cats Litter Box Cover – a fabric cover that encloses any regular litter box
Top Entry Covered
The only difference between these and traditional covered boxes is that your cat enters and exits through a hole in the top. They can be expensive.
Some top entry boxes have ridges to help get litter off your kitty’s paws when exiting.
These have the same drawbacks as regular front-entry closed boxes. Cats with medical problems (arthritis, urinary tract infections, etc.), along with small kittens, may find it too difficult to use these boxes.
Some examples of top-entry litter boxes are…
Modkat – various stylish, covered, front and top entry
Corner Litter Box (Open or Covered)
Corner litter boxes are just like traditional open or covered boxes, except they’re triangular-shaped to fit in a corner. They’re usually made of plastic or stainless steel.
These boxes take up less space than others, but leave your cat with less escape routes and can become a trap if another cat waits to attack when they exit the box. Of course, if you only have one cat or yours get along well, this won’t be a problem.
These are probably best used for quiet households with one cat, especially if you have an insecure, skittish kitty. They’re also a good choice in a small apartment or other area where you don’t have much room.
Some examples of corner litter pans are…
Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes
There are many different types of “self-cleaning” litter boxes on the market. The idea is that you don’t have to touch or do anything with the litter. However, this doesn’t make them completely maintenance free… you can’t completely ignore it or your cat will let you know about it!
These boxes often require clumping litter, usually clay or silica.
Self-cleaning litter boxes are usually expensive so I recommend looking carefully at the manufacturers’ websites as well as any reviews you can find before making the investment.
When it comes to litter boxes in general, most cat behaviorists have found it’s best to keep it simple. The more complex the box, the more risk of it malfunctioning, and the less likely your cat will use it.
You’ll want to evaluate these factors…
- Ease of use for both you and your cat
- How chill or nervous your cat is in general? (Will he accept this alien being?)
- How quiet is the unit? (Some cats won’t go near it if it makes noise even if they’re not near the box when it happens.)
- In multi-cat households, can you afford more than one box?
- Ongoing expense of any special trays, litter, and replacement parts
- The size of the actual area your cat will be using to do his business
- The bulkiness of the whole unit
- The amount of maintenance and cleaning involved (they’re not maintenance free)
- Reliability of the mechanism over time… what’s its track record?
Robot boxes have become well known and sound great… just be sure you know if it’ll work in your situation, since they’re very expensive.
A couple options are…
Roll & Clean (Manual)
These manual rotating boxes (also know as “litter spinners”) are a nice idea, however some people find them difficult to clean, with soiled litter sticking to the sides. People seem to love or hate them.
Lesser quality ones can have trouble with internal parts not working right or falling apart too quickly. Here are a couple options…
Sifting (Automatic or Manual)
Automatic sifting boxes have rakes that push soiled litter out while keeping unused litter in the box.
Manual sifters are sieves that you shake to allow unused litter to fall to the bottom. The clumps and waste left on top are thrown away.
Sifter boxes come either open or covered and often require only certain types of clumping litter be used (usually clay or silica).
Some examples of sifting boxes are…
The self flushing box is an interesting concept developed by CatGenie. The website says it… “acts like a cat box, cleans like an appliance, and flushes like a toilet”. Find out more about it here…
Travel Litter Boxes
There are litter boxes made specifically for traveling with cats. Some are disposable, others are not, but do collapse for convenient storage.
Some worth a look are…
Disposable litter boxes are handy for various needs, such as traveling or short-term fostering situations. They come as rectangles or triangles (for corners).
Be sure they’re big enough for your cat to comfortably dig, turn around, and cover waste.
Nature’s Miracle® Disposable Prefilled Cat Litter Pan – comes with a bag of litter
Furniture Litter Box Enclosures
Litter box enclosures made from furniture are becoming popular. They’re a great solution to having ugly boxes in your living areas (living room, bedroom, etc.).
There are three priorities to consider when deciding if furniture enclosures are right for you…
- Is it big enough for your cat(s) to use, turn around, dig and cover comfortably?
- Do you have any cats who don’t like covered boxes?
- Is it easy for you to get the box in and out for cleaning?
Any of these can be a problem. If your cat doesn’t like it he won’t use it… period.
If it’s not easy for you to get the box in and out, you won’t clean it often enough, it’ll stink and your cat will end up going elsewhere.
The good news is if he won’t use it, you can still use it as furniture. That doesn’t solve your ugly box problem, though.
There are plenty of options available now. Here are some places to start…
Make your own out of existing furniture (17 Clever Ways to Hide the Litter Box) or
Cat Litter Box Furniture – wheelchair accessible
These are a good alternative if your cat won’t use a covered box or furniture enclosure. These are the two I found…
PetFusion ModestCat Litter Box Privacy Screen – (3′ Tall; 4′ Wide)
Related Litter Products
Related items are helpful and often necessary to make it easier for you to deal with soiled litter and nuisances like scattered or tracking litter.
These are containers you keep next to the boxes for easy disposal.
Scoops are necessary for dealing with any litter box, including robot and other “self-cleaning” ones. There’s no such thing as a completely hands-free, no maintenance box.
There are different types of scoops with various hole sizes to go with whatever litter you use. Here are some options…
Litter Mats help clean your cat’s paws when leaving the box and walking away. This keeps litter and dust from tracking everywhere. The larger the mat, the more it will help contain any mess.
A big factor in whether or not you need one is the type of litter you use. Softer, sandier litter sticks more easily to paws and tracks more than large hard pellets. Some cats won’t step on hard pellets so litter mats can be a good compromise between their need for soft litter and your need for a clean house.
Some options are listed here…
There are other miscellaneous items related to care and use of litter boxes, however, most aren’t necessary or recommended by cat behaviorists.
Deodorizers and liners are examples of items that aren’t necessary. Many cats hate the smell of deodorants and air fresheners. You may drive your buddy away from the box if you use them.
Liners can be a problem because most cats don’t like the feel of them and their claws make holes and tears. This means pee will run down underneath the liner and make an even bigger, smelly mess. Yuck!
If you properly clean your boxes and use litter that works well for both you and your cat, you won’t need either.
If you’d like further helpful information about litter or dealing with litter box problems, see “Related Pages of Interest” below.
Related Pages of Interest
Please note that some of the sources listed below sell litter products or link to places that do. These are for your convenience only. I make no money from them.